Steer your own course

by Belinda Wan (
published on 30 June 2016

Is your career going where you want it, or are you just living from day to day?

Having some goals can help you to regain direction and renew the enthusiasm you have for your job.

Ms Shamantha Yan, who runs a training consultancy, and career-sharing platform, said: “Without a goal, there is no excitement, sense of urgency, or fulfilment at work. Over time, it saps your energy, and leaves you wondering about the meaning of life.

“Having a personal goal supports a forward-thinking outlook, gives one additional drive and purpose, and boosts self-worth.”

This can lead to happier organisations as happier employees with personal investments can drive up engagement and productivity in the workplace, said Ms Yan.

Getting started

How do you go about setting goals?

Start with an end game and work backwards, advised Ms Yan.

She said: “Achieving a long-term career goal takes time. A job is just one aspect of our lives and we need to review it in relation to other life priorities.

“Setting short-term goals can help us to take our immediate constraints into consideration and give us a clearer sense of direction. Such goals are the building blocks of a long-term goal.”

Breaking a goal down into bite-sized pieces makes achieving it more manageable and gives focus.

Ms Yan said: “Every goal fulfilled creates a sense of progress and helps to build up one’s confidence. It also provides sufficient flexibility to accommodate change or refine our long-term career goal.”

There is no right or wrong answer, as goals are set based on what we know at the point in time and want to achieve.

She suggested reaching out to more people to learn about their experiences, or gaining exposure to aid the process of personal goal setting.

“Good goals should be concrete and measurable, and provide clarity on your starting and end points. They should also stretch you sufficiently and allow you to leave your comfort zone,” said Ms Yan.